Roadcase Royale are a six piece group led by Liv Warfield of Prince’s New Power Generation and Nancy Wilson of Heart. ‘Not Giving Up’ is the groups latest single release and it’s a slick piece of music. Roadcase Royale have a rich background in R&B and Rock and this sound blends nicely together with Liv Warfield’s voice. Warfield has a really nice depth to her voice and it works well with the slower, more soulful verse portions of the song. The opening riff forms what becomes the main hook to the song, Ryan Water’s guitar work here is very polished and when Dan Rothchild’s Bass comes in, it is instantly gratifying.
After a really energetic opening, the lead dissipates on the resolve and smoothly transitions into a gentle, lightly syncopated verse, with keys by Chris Joyner. The E-piano sound is fine, it’s not unpleasant, but, it could have been more interesting. The touches of harmony done by Wilson and Rothchild add a little flavour to the tune, which helps to give it a little more character. Ben Smith is a very solid drummer but the hats on this track are a little too open for my own liking, I know that’s a personal nitpick, however, I feel like tighter hats could have helped the overall feel of the groove.
Two things really got my attention in this track, first of which is the EQ. It’s incredibly flat sounding at times, the vocals never really grabbed me, it sounds like they were an afterthought in the mix. By the same token the mix on ‘Not Giving Up’ is very clean sounding, polished, perhaps to a fault. As a result, the distortion on the guitars has little character which is a shame because the actual performance is very tight. The second thing I noticed was that the track sounds like it was built around the main guitar riff, which is perfectly acceptable, but, that hook is very short and gets boring very fast. With the main melody of the chorus just being an exact mimic of the guitar riff that very small amount of melodic content wears thin quickly.
There’s just not a lot of sonic variety on the track, the riff is pushed over and over again and it feels like it’s missing the kind of dynamic sound you’d expect from a band with such a rich musical background. The lyrics sound acceptable they’re not particularly memorable but there’s nothing wrong with them. Once you’ve heard the opening and the first verse, you’ve pretty much experienced all the song has to offer. The track is well produced and the performances are solid, but the sound is just remarkably generic. If someone had told me this song was released at any time within the last 25 years, I would have believed them without question. It really is that very safe, very rounded studio rock sound we’ve all come to know.
Overall, I’d give this one a perfectly middle of the road 2 and 1/2 stars. This whole track is just fine and that’s its biggest problem, it could have been better developed melodically, there could have been more interesting sounds or an interesting bridge. But there wasn’t.